tv Larry King Live CNN October 29, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT
>> larry: tonight, president obama goes on "the daily show." >> i don't want to lump you in with a lot of other pundits. >> larry: and jon stewart goes after him. >> i don't mean to lump you in with other presidents. >> larry: will his appearance help or hurt the democrats? was it okay to call the world's most powerful leader dude.
>> larry summers did a heck of a job trying to figure out how to -- >> you don't want to use that phrase, dude. >> larry: plus sarah palin running for president, for certain? is karl rove trying to kill her career? election clock's ticking. next on "larry king live." so much to cover, so little time to do it. the one and only stephen a. smith, the nationally syndicated radio host joins us here in l.a., ben stein t economist, former presidential speech writer, columnist for "fortune," contributor to cbs' "sunday morning" and the author of "little book of bulletproof investing t ". and penn gilles et, magician, author, libertarian. he appeas at the rio in las vegas and penn and teller b.s.
here's a sample of the q&a. we'll ask our guests about it as well. watch. >> jon, i love your show, but -- but, but this is something where i have a profound disagreement with you and -- i don't want to lump you in with a lot of other pundits, but this notion. >> you may. >> no, no. look. this notion that health care was timid, you got 30 million people who are going to get health insurance as a consequence of this. >> larry: okay. let's discuss it with panel. good idea of him to go there, stephen? >> i have no problem with it whatsoever. the fact of the matter even though he's the president of the united states of america, he's also a human being. he knows how to laugh and engage with his public. more importantly, he's the individual that ultimately
accumulated 69 plus million votes. i'm quite sure everybody that voted for him would have a problem with such a thing. i think one of the problems that exist in our country today is that you have an abundance of people who look at stuff like this, completely overreact and they're the ones that are not in tune with the american voter, not somebody like him. >> larry: ben, what do you think? >> i think it's fascinating to see jon stewart condescending to the president of the united states. mr. obama is a very thoughtful, careful, judicious guy, even as a republican, i have to admire him in many ways. he's the president of the united states. i thought that jon stewart was being a little bit condescending to him. maybe that's the way modern life is. i'm an old guy by now, i'm expecting more respect. but is a little bit of a comment on the media aristocracy of the ones running this country. the media aristocracy and the wall street aristocracy are the ones running the country. >> larry: penn, what do you think the president was trying to accomplish?
>> i don't know. i think it's just america at its best. i think the idea that the leader of the free world goes on a comedy show is just terrific and so purely american. i don't know what president obama was trying to accomplish. it doesn't seem like he got out of it what he wanted to. but seeing jon stewart -- and i thought -- i kind of disagree a little bit with ben. i thought jon's tone was perfect. i thought he was still funny. he was still edgy. he was still jon stewart but also showed i think the right amount of respect. i thought it was perfect american. >> i thought he was very deferential. i thought the dude comment was a slip of the tongue. he says it all the time. he's accustomed to saying that. obviously you have the president of the united states of america on the show with you, you have to be very careful about how you draets him. but at the same time none of us are infallible. we're all flawed. he made an honest mistake and it's being overblown.
>> he talked about -- >> larry: let's see the moment when it happened. during last night's interview, jon stewart used the word. never been publicly applied to a sitting president that we can trace. anyway, watch. >> in fairness, larry summers did a heck of a job trying to figure out -- [ laughter ] >> you don't want to use that phrase, dude. >> larry: you say nothing wrong with dude. ben, you think anything wrong with saying dude to the president? >> i mean t president still has this full range of constitutional powers. he still has enormous juice for the press and with the voters and the people of the united states and the world. but i don't think it's right for a person in the media unelected person to be using a kind of condescending buddy buddy term to the president tp the president is not his buddy. the president is the president of the united states. this may be an old fashioned idea, but i think the president deserves more respect. i think at the beginning of the
show when mr. obama said i don't mean to bum lump you in with other pundits and jon stewart said, you may. i thought that was condescending. >> what's more interesting about that is not jon stewart saying dude. that seems to be part of the phrase and not really addressing directly the president. what i thought was interesting was that obama clearly did not mean to do a reference to heck of a job from the bush katrina thing and yet after jon stewart makes a joke about it, he goes and says, pun intended, which it clearly wasn't intended and it wasn't a pun. and it just kind of broke my heart that his immediate response was not to tell the truth there. he didn't intend to do that. it wasn't a reference. he was surprised by the laugh. and then he says he intended it and mislabels it a pun, which is a little thing that i'm kind of a stickler on.
>> larry: stephen, isn't this a culmination of this whole wacky campaign anyway? >> in what respect. >> larry: in what respect? the weirdest campaign ever. >> there's no question about that. >> larry: a lot of different people are running. >> a lot of different people are running. there's no denying that. and the president is going out there because he knows the democratsner trouble. they're going to lose a bunch of seats in the house. we all know that. we see the handwriting on the wall. he's out there trying to soften that blow as much as he can because there's still a tremendous amount of work to be done. but there's not anything they can save them right now the way they've conducted themselves in the eyes of the american public. he recognizes that. part of the problem is that you've got a lot of people using every bit of ammunition they possibly can against this man. i don't always agree with the president. i'm a registered independent. there's a lot of stuff i don't agree with him about, but having said that, i find significant things to disagree with him about, as it pertains to the economy or the war in afghanistan. i got a problem with little
stuff like this that's overblown. because at the end of the day that does not significantly affect the lives of the american people. >> larry: ben -- i was going to say penn and ben, it's funny. is stephen right? is this thing a done deal on november 2nd? >> i was just in communication with an extremely well known republican strategist whose name i ontd use but you already used it once on the show. i said to him are we all going to have the kind of gains that we all think we. he said, simply yes. it's baked in the cake. it's unfortunate for mr. obama because i don't really think he's done that much terrible wrong. he inherited a terrible situation. he made it worse with obama care, which i think he did with good intentions. when you're in an economic situation as bad as this, you're going to suffer, there's just no way around it. >> penn jillette, clinton had it happen to him in '94 and came back and romped in '96. what does it mean?
>> i don't think we have any idea what it means. it's much too early. i don't think that a jon stewart appearance makes any difference one way or the other. i think it's a great thing for him to do and a great thing for jon. jon gets to make jokes with the president. how boss is that? but i don't think it makes any difference politically at all. >> larry: let me get a break. we'll repeat our recent interview with jon stewart tomorrow night because it was a very funny hour. congressman kendrick meek will be holding a news conference in about 20 minutes. we're going to see if he's going to drop out of the three-person senate race in florida as bill clinton apparently has asked him to do, to do it for the sake of the democrats. we'll continue with this outstanding panel. tdd# 1-800-345-2550
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>> larry: we'll discuss that florida situation in a little while. back with the panel. stephen says something during the break which interested me. you hope the republicans win control of the house. >> yes, i do. i think that the democrats have been an impediment to barack obama. he'll never admit that, he'll never say that. but in terms of the hit that he's taken, some of the ridiculous hits that he's taken in the presidency, i think one of the problems is that you've got such an ingrained hatred between the parties themselves. the republicans and the democrats. since they won the house in 1994, i'm talking about the republicans, it was like the democrats were trying and
waiting and starving for that opportunity to get back at them. once they were able to succeed in 2006, then win the presidency in 2008, i think the interests of the american people have taken a backseat to people having their own individual agendas. >> larry: how will that change? >> what happens is the republicans ultimately win back the house. i think obama lass the charisma and the intestinal fortitude to walk across the aisle for getting things done for the betterment of this country as opposed to owing something to his party. >> larry: ben stein, what do you think? >> the main thing i think is mr. smith is totally right in saying that mr. obama has charisma. the guy just wreaks of charisma. he's the most charismatic guy on the national scene by a billion miles. but another reason why it would be good for mr. obama if the gop took the house, which i hope they do, which he could then blame any problems on the gop having the house. like harry tru mann and the do
nothing '76 congress and he'll be blaming them for everything. and i talked to a very prominent republican fund-raiser today. i said, if we win what is our program? well, we'll just make sure that nothing much happens. i said, there's an awful lot of people out of work who need something to happen. and i said, i don't think we republicans have yet got our act together about what we're going to do if we do take control of the house. so we better do it soon because it looks awfully good for us controlling the house. >> larry: penn jillette, if that happens and republicans take control of the house, what has been their message? >> i don't know. i mean, everybody seems to be not voting for but voting against. i mean, everybody voted against bush and the republicans to get obama in. now they're voting against obama. i don't know what ben means about obama blaming the republicans because he already is. i mean it doesn't change that.
>> but he has been able to accomplish quite a lot of his program anyway. >> yeah. >> passing nationalized health insurance was a gigantic achievement. if he's not able to get a single thing done in the next two years he can blame that on congress and if the economy is still in bad shape, that gives him a kind of a very strong hand to play against the republicans. >> i think one of the things that's hurt obama a lot is the fact that he has blamed his predecessor on far too many occasions. i think a lot of people in this country look at that as classless. we know what george bush did and didn't do and we know that he deserved to be vilified for the job he did in some respects. but at the same time, ultimately it is your responsibility. you've chosen to take this task on. we get tired of hearing about what your predecessor did. that's something that obama has to live with and ben is absolutely right from the standpoint that if the republicans win the house, that he could continue to blame them. he can say, they're not supportive of our agenda. nobody wants to hear that when democrats have control of the house and the senate and you're the president.
we don't want to hear those kind of excuses. because you know what? guess what? the 69 million people that voted for you weren't looking for support from the right. they were looking to do what you wanted to do. >> larry: good point, ben? >> it's a very, very good point. i thing the problem we have here which is a really, really bad problem, is that nobody knows what to do. nobody knows what to do about afghanistan, which is a quagmire. i was just at an event where incredibly brave navy s.e.a.l.s who have died there and to support their families. these are the bravest people in the world. if those guys can't turn the war around, what are we going to do? we continue know what to do about the jobless recovery and the collapse of education. we just don't know what to do. >> get in or get out. get in or get out. don't send 30,000 troops. >> larry: that's true, penn jillette, give us a chance and maybe we won't know what to do. >> the nutty thing is that
nobody's claiming hardly to know what to do. i mean, there's the afghanistan thing, there really isn't a serious peace movement going on. at least during bush there was enough hatred of bush that there was a peace movement that was speaking out about that. and with obama, since all the people voted against bush were against the war, they now kind of just go along with this and we're not getting any more peace. we're not getting out of any places. we're still having americans dying overseas and don't really know what we're accomplishing. >> here's the big thing that's not being said. it's not that they don't want to do. just that they're a bunch of chickens. they're scared to just do it because they want to remain in office. >> what do they do? >> here's the bottom line, i'm saying you can't be scared to make a mistake and you wouldn't be if you were more concerned about what you believe is -- >> larry: what are you telling me. >> what would they do? >> what would they do?
>> i'm answering you right now. when general mcchrystal requested 40,000 troops, either i'm going to give him the 40 or i'm not going to be there. i'm not going to shortchange what the general requested. if the man wants 40,000 troops, you don't send 30, you don't send 20. he's on the ground. he's the guy you chose. >> larry: or? >> send all 40 or send back out, this is not a war. >> back out. as long as back out is in there. >> larry: hold on. congressman meek who is running a distant third to an independent charlie crist and the favorite mr. rubio apparently now representative meek said it is absolutely not true that he ever agreed to any kind of a deal with former president clinton to drop out of the florida senate race. that's from cnn contributor roland martin. meek is holding a news conference at the bottom of the hour. back with ben and penn and stephen. [ commentator ] lindsey vonn! she stays tough!
>> larry: we're back. one more clip from the president's appearance on the stewart show. watch. >> i look over the last 18 months and i say we prevented a second grade depression. we've stabilized the economy. an economy that was shrinking is now growing. we've had nine months of consecutive private sector job growth. we have passed historic health
care reform, historic financial regulatory reform. we have done things that some folks don't even know about. >> what have you done that we don't know about? [ laughter ] are you planning a surprise party for us? >> larry: ben stein, was president obama a better campaigner than he is a president? >> he's an unbelievably good campaigner. i would not rank him as a great president at this point, although he may yet become one. but i think he was completely misleading us when he said that he prevented another great depression. it was the t.a.r.p. bill, the bailout of the banks and that was put in place by the last gasps of the republican administration that prevented the depression. no economist in america believes that president obama did that, it was bush. to be fair, it was lehman brothers failure that was also done by bush, that got us into the problem. he didn't prevent the depression.
that's just a fantasiy. >> larry: ben, do you think he was a better campaigner than he was a president. ben thinks he was. do you? >> i think he definitely is. i mean he's a fabulous campaigner. he talks great. he comes off wonderfully all the time. i think those are qualities that are a little better for a campaigner than a president. but i think winning presidency of the united states is so hard, it's very hard to even imagine someone who's a better president than they are a campaigner being elected. it just seems logically, you have to be the best campaigner around to win. >> very good point. >> that's why i'm laughing. because of course he's a better campaigner than he's been a president. you actually have to do something once you're the president. as a campaigner, you just get to talk about what you're going to do. so that's clearly obvious. there's no way around that. >> larry: for anybody. >> anybody. i'd be a better campaigner than i was a chief executive.
there's no doubt about it. vote for me, america. feel free. please. but at the end of the day, what it really comes down to simply is this, larry. he's done a so-so job in my estimation because as far as i'm concerned as long as there's 9.6% unemployment and they told us during the t.a.r.p. that it wouldn't go above 8% and we know that's not true. you look at 8 million job lost, 15 million people unemployed. the reality is until you address that, it's going to be a problem. when you look at a lot of people in america, i don't care what anybody says, universal health care, beautiful idea. but at the end of the day when every idea you seem to come up with touches upon employers receiving tax hikes or giving a disincentive to hire and an insentive to lay folks off, then ultimately what it comes down to is that the american people are not going to be happy. because when you tell people health care as opposed to a job,
they said, bump that, give me a job, put the money in my pocket. >> larry: you should have your own show. you should be on television every day somewhere. >> thank you. >> larry: penn jillette and ben stein will remain. they'll be joined by stephanie miller on the left, tanya akerr on the right. and after a break we'll take to you the press conference.
>> larry: soon as congressman meek, who is running a distant third in the florida polls, takes to the podium and tells us whether he's going to leave the race or not, we'll join him as soon as he does. we're back with ben stein and penn jillette, they remain. joining us is stephanie miller host of her own program. and tanya acker, rather, tanya acker, political analyst and contributor to the huffington post. jon stewart's rally to restore sanity will be held saturday on the national mall.
we talked to him about that event last week. he said it's not a political rally and it is not an anti-glenn beck rally. here's what he said it is. >> what we are doing is we are using the rally format to do the same thing we do with our shows. it's using the rally through a satirical format, like the book is like our show in book form. we'll develop it in capsule form, in powder form, maybe a drink form the astra naughts can use. everybody should wait and see what it is and make their own decision. >> larry: stephanie, what do you make of this rally? >> i don't know. i had a 6-year-old call my radio show today and tell me that he was going to the rally. so not sure what this means about america, larry, but i don't think it's good. >> larry: tanya, what do you think?
>> i think there's so many things to satirize in the current political culture. every day i turn on the news i'm seeing an episode of "the real housewives." it really has come to that. the rale that he wants to point out these inconsistencies, then more power to it. >> larry: the whole race, ben, in a sense has been a satire, isn't it? >> a satire of reality for sure. what i can't get over is a few minutes ago i was in a room with widows and parents of navy s.e.a.l.s that have been killed in a very, very unfortunate war in afghanistan. then we have a few blocks away a big comedy event and we have on tv the "real housewive of beverly hills" spending thousands of dollars on chocolate to be eaten in a few minutes, then on tv the candidates in control just hurling mud at each other instead of dealing with the real problems of the country. it doesn't seem that anyone is coming to grips with the fact that we've got really serious problems. >> and if i can jump in to ben's
point, what we're seeing are so many wild inconsistencies that people on both sides of the aisle are easily able to or tick late. we've got joe miller in alaska. who was my law school classmate. i don't remember him from law school, but by all accounts he was a very nice guy who is talking about things like cutting the minimum wage in alaska. alaska at least as of 2008, was the largest recipient of federal pork in the country or at least one of the largest. but still you've got this groundswell of candidates that are talking about cutting big government. >> he was a nice guy in that he didn't have his own private security force. he didn't have to harass anybody. that's the point, the jon stewart rally, we don't know which is the comedy and which is real. look at christine o'donnell. when did you ever think you would see an ad saying i'm not a witch, i'm just like you. she's never held a job or a house, and she doesn't masturbate.
she's not like anyone i know. >> larry: wait a minute. if a guy came here from mar, he wouldn't believe it. all i did penn jillette was ask about the rally. do you plan to attend, penn? >> i don't intend to attend because i'm in vegas, but i think it's fabulous to do comedy in any form you want to do it at all. i think that jon stewart is really funny. we disagree on some political stuff, but i absolutely love him. doing a rally it's like when i was a child pat paulson running for president. it's fair to do comedy in any way at all. and my heart goes out to what ben stein's saying about people dying and suffering and all of that. but that's always been true while comedy is going on. as soon as we think about what's happening, it's terrible, terrible, terrible, but also comedy does go on. no, stephanie, tell me.
>> penn raises a great point. my favorite movie is "the american president". >> larry: who? >> the character says these are serious times, we need serious people to solve these problems. christine o'donnell in my opinion is not a serious person. >> your favorite movie of all time? >> the with you one you were in or -- >> "car 54" that i was in. i've been in terrible movies. but the best movie of all time? >> i love it. >> really? wow. >> ben is right -- >> no one will listen to anything you say ever again. the best movie ever? >> larry: okay, penn, control yourself. >> really? i can stand people talking about afghanistan, but that kind of crazy talk. >> larry: ben, we'll get back to you in a minute. this program tonight capsulizes this entire campaign, which will by the way, end on tuesday to the thanks of 300 million american. we'll be right back. each day was fueled
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>> larry: we're back. president obama isn't the only political figure trying to use the entertainment media to spread a message. sarah palin's done an interview with "e.t.'s" mary hart. watch. >> for me it will entail a discussion with my family. a real -- a real close look at the lay of the land and to consider whether there are those with that commonsense conservative pro-constitution passion, whether there are already candidates out there who can do the job and i'll get to
be their biggest supporter and their biggest helpmate, if they will have me or whether there's no one willing to do it, to make the tough choices and not care what the critics are going to say about you, just going forward according to what i believe the priorities should be. if there's nobody else to do it, then of course i believe that we should do this. >> larry: she was talking about running for the presidency. ben, what do you make of that comment? >> well, my first thought is, god help us. but the -- you know, i like her a lot. i think she's an intelligent woman. the speech she gave at the republican convention when she was nominated was one of the best speeches i ever heard. but she didn't write it. she's an intelligent woman. she needs a little more leavening. and i am going to be at my apartment at the watergate just a short walk from the mall. i am going to the rally. i'm going to cheer on jon stewart because i want to have sanity, too. >> larry: tanya, what do you think of her statement to mary
hart? >> sarah palin is the gift that will not stop giving. she just keeps giving. >> larry: none of the other candidates are constitutionalists. >> what does she mean if none of the other candidates are constitutional and fiscally responsible, if they're not like me and they don't take money for a bridge to nowhere. >> larry: don't care for fiscal irresponsibility, she's in. >> here's my issue. what we have in this current political environment -- and it's not new in this campaign cycle -- are people who just feel that they can adopt these identities, make things up and somehow make it true. sarah palin took money for a bridge to nowhere before she became the big guardian of fiscal conservatism and the constitution. if you look at these folks running now from the far right when they talk about this fiscal responsibility and we hate gig government, there was a guy who was egging people on to vandalize democratic buildings after the health care bill passed.
he's like, i hate big government. this guy was on disability. he was getting his government check every month. john boehner's plan to -- his new contract for america or whatever they're calling it is going to add $700 million to the deficit. sarah palin, christine o'donnell, they make things up and they think that it's true because they say it earnestly and it is not. >> larry: do you think she's going to be a serious candidate? >> you know, every time i hear smarmy people making fun of sarah palin it just rubs me the wrong way and i want to defend her and stick up for her. i hate the way people make fun of her. then i read one thing she says or hear her for a moment and i just can't find anything to defend about her. i want to. i don't like the people making fun of her. my heart goes out to her. i always go for the nut. i always go for the underdog. i find myself defending her violently until i read anything she says, and then i'm totally beaten. just beaten.
i want to stick up for her just say one thing. just say one smart thing i would be so thrilled. >> let me jump in as a smarmy person that makes fun of sarah palin. >> yeah. >> i had sort of the -- i did have a reaction like ben stein who thought, god help us, except as a comedian i thought oh, please, god, let it be so. because she is great for come ed. horrible for the country. and no offense to mary hart, but i guess she had to find some interview that she would appear to have some gravitas. >> larry: what did mary hart do wrong? she asked a question and she answered. >> if you want to be president, you do an interview with mary hart? she can't answer reasonable questions like what do you read? i mean, come on. this is -- you know, even karl rove is saying she doesn't not have the gravitas to be
president. >> doesn't that make you want to defend her? but you can't. you can't do it. >> and you don't even like me, penn. you don't like me, you don't like my taste in movies, yet you can't defend her, can you? >> no, i can't defend her. but i certainly give you double indemnity, psycho, dawn of the dead. >> larry: let's go miami gardens, florida, and hear from congressman meek. >> all i have to say is the press reports that are out there or the press report that's out there from politico is inaccurate at best. president clinton and i are good friends. that's well documented. everyone knows that. he came down last week, we had a great rally. he's continuing to be a supporter of this campaign. i count on his support. and any rumor or any statement by anyone that says that i made a decision to get out of the race is inaccurate. at best. at best it's inaccurate. and i think it's very, very
important that everyone understands that. i thing the people of the state of florida are counting on me to be their next united states senator. i think some of the questions that are out there as it relates to polling numbers or who said this or who said that, the people of florida have to vote. let's let them vote. i believe that i'm in the running to be the next united states senator. so i look forward to doing that. and i think it's very, very important that everyone understands that i am in this race until tuesday, 7:00, central standard time. and i look forward to being the next united states senator. i meet marco rubio and charlie crist at the finish line. >> as the former president or anyone from the white house at any time asked you to drop out of this race and throw your support behind charlie crist? >> absolutely not. president clinton did not ask me
to drop out of the race. no one from the dnc. of course, there's been rumors going on, the white house. no one has called me and said, hey, you need to get out of the race. as you know, we're dealing with the governor. as far as i'm concerned, he's -- i don't know who he is right now. he's trying his best to push democratic voters in his direction, not because of his record, because he wants to climb on my back and get those voters. i think there are voters in the state of florida who is looking for someone who is not willing to cut deal, willing to leave their votes uncounted and willing to give them someone to vote for. i have always been a person of integrity. when it comes down to keeping my word. and i have more democracy behind my campaign than any other candidate on the statewide ticket because i qualified by petition and won overwhelmingly the democratic primary. >> where do you think this is
coming from? >> i don't know. i think that there's some people that would like to fuel rumors. >> larry: that was congressman meek denying -- this is one of those classy examples of much ado about nothing. politico reported this. where did they get it from, ben stein? where did they get this story that ain't a story? >> i imagine it was true at one point. politico is extremely reliable. i imagine it's true and mr. meek changed his mind. i saw him in the debate a few days ago. he's an extremely intelligent guy. i think it is important for the voters of florida that he's still in the race. >> larry: you think that bill clinton's going to deny what he apparently asked him to do? >> i don't know if bill clinton's going to do. he probably did ask him to do it, but he probably will deny it. they're politicians, you know. they're not saints. they're politicians. >> larry: stephanie, what do you think? >> not since i've been buchlped off television for balloon boy has there been such a nonstory, larry. everybody assumed he's having a
press conference, he's dropping out. i thought the same thing ben did. i saw the debate. he's a really, really solid candidate. charlie krits as we've implied here has flip flopped every which way. i think this is still a solid race. sarah palin calling marco rubio mavericky, he's solid down the line republican party doctrineaire tea party. he's not by any stretch of the imagination maverick. i hope florida voters take a look at this before tuesday. >> i was bumped from tv because of balloon boy. that's two things i have in common. besides bey smarmy. it's one of those things, classic 24-hour news, larry. classic reality show component. did big bad bill clinton come in and tell the young upstart to
step aside? >> larry: i tell you how this happened. you want to know how this happened? >> yeah. >> larry: someone said to meek, you want to get some national attention, i'll get you five minutes on national television in prime time. >> and he got it. yeah. >> larry: good move, huh, ben? >> the guy is very smart. it's very plausible. >> larry: penn jillette, maybe this was all contrived? >> i have no ideas information whatsoever. all i'm sure of is that clinton did not call me. no one talked to me about this. i have no information whatsoever. i wasn't bumped for balloon boy. so i got nothing to say. >> larry: stay tuned. balloon boy will be back. only five more days, folks. five more days. we'll be back after these words. [ woman ] alright, so this tylenol 8 hour lasts 8 hours.
>> larry: first lady michelle obama's hit the campaign trail in reseptember days trying to rally democratic troopts. she appeared on "ellen" and talked about coping with criticism of her husband and his policies. watch. >> there are always two worlds in politics. there's the stuff you hear on tv, and then it's what you feel when you go out in to the country. but people are kind. and they're kind to us when we go into communities. i think people know that my husband -- his intent is good and that we're making good progress. and that's what we feel. that's the energy that we get back. and you can choose to take in the negative, or you take in the good stuff.
>> larry: tanya, should she have been out sooner? >> i think there are a lot of folks who think she should have been, but i if i this she had been, then we would have seen the 24-hour cable news cycle go into deep spin mode about how she was secretly plotting to try to take over the presidency. i think that michelle obama has always been able to strike exactly the right balance and the right tone for the country. people like her. she's not particularly partisan or divisive and she's taken on issues frankly like the health crisis that a lot of america's kids are in. that really resonate with people. >> larry: ben, is she too little too late? >> i think it's way too late. i'm not sure anyone does like her, i must say i've been to a lot of -- >> larry: doesn't like her? >> i'm not sure everyone does like her. >> larry: oh. >> to me she seems like -- her point is correct, politics on tv
is tougher and meaner than it is when you're out there in the heartland, but it's way too late. this thing is already baked in the cake. >> larry: stephanie, what do you think? >> oh, i hope that not cake, but i hope ben stein has egg on his face on wednesday morning, but we'll see. i agree with tanya. i think michelle obama is fabulous, but i literally had a caller, a right-wing call tore my show this morning, he said, michelle obama is trying to tell me what i can eat and what i can't eat. it doesn't matter -- she just said maybe you should try to eat healthy. you know, i mean, you're right. people use first ladies like that, like they did hillary clinton as a weapon. i think she's fabulous. >> larry: tonight, selena gomez invites you to meet the young wonder who created solar powered lanterns bringing thousands of rural kenyans out of the darkness and into the light. watch.
>> hi, i'm selena gomez. two years ago at cnn heroes, i had the honor of helping recognize the great works of everyday people changing the worlds. as an ambassador to unicef i'm committed to protecting and caring for children around the world and i'm thrilled to help cnn introduce one of this year's top ten honorees. now more than ever the world needs heroes. >> i have problems with my eyesight. due to prolonged exposure to smoke. i had to use firewood to study during my childhood. we don't have electricity, it's only kerosene and firewood for cooking. it's i couldn't compete effectively. they remain poor the rest of their life.
i made the first lantern, i thought, i must find a way of using solar to light up the homes. the amount of money that every household uses, to buy kerosene every day, if they can save that, they can be able to buy food. i'm lifting people out of poverty, i just feel like it's right. >> you can vote for evans or any of our top ten heroes as 2010 cnn hero of the year. you can meet your favorite hero in person and win a trip to l.a. to see "cnn heroes, an all-star tribute" thanksgiving night. go to cnn.com/heroes for more. ♪
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we're with you when you need someone to stand by you. wachovia, wells fargo, and you. together we'll go far. >> larry: we're back. george w. bush's memoir "decision points" hits bookstores november 9th. he's already pitching the book on youtube. here's an excerpt. >> when i sat down to write my memoirs, i decided to take an untraditional approach. rather than providing an exhaustive chronological account of my life and years of office, i wanted to give readers a glimpse of the presidency from my perspective. that man focusing on the most demanding and focusing part of the job, making decisions. >> larry: he's keeping out of the race so far, penn jillette. good idea? >> oh, yeah. i think so, yeah. i think you're still able to blame everything on bush and you're still probably right to do it.
>> larry: what do you think, ben stein? >> i don't think he would help the republicans a lot by being in the race, all though he is still a hero in texas, i think he's made the right decision. by the way, mr. bush, i love you but the word is nontraditional not untraditional. >> and the book should be called "bad decisions," by the way. and just a point of order on this florida race, thought going into iraq was a good decision, who thinks that was a good decision? think about, it florida. >> larry: stephanie, getting a little wound up here. >> i am. >> larry: george w. bush, smart -- >> everybody knows, george bush would only help democrats by reminding people of at least part of the reason why they voted for president obama. i really want to read the memoirs. i'm sad that bad didn't proofread or spell check the book, apparently, because i don't know how many times i'm
going to run into "untraditional" as i read it. i'll be interested to see what he has to say. i don't know what a nontraditional memoir looks like. i hope he doesn't leave out the juicy details. i suspect he will. >> larry: what's going to happen tuesday night? >> a lot of wins for the republicans but i'm not positive they'll take either the house or the senate, but big gains in the obama agenda stop dead. >> larry: what do you think, stephanie? >> i think the tea party is going to implode in a lot of places and there's going to be screaming in the palin household. >> larry: all right. penn? once again, you did defend her in your own way, because she just knocked her again. >> i would say that in the next two weeks, at least five movies will come out that are better than -- at least. maybe six.
>> you are never going to be invited to rob reiner's house with me. >> larry: it wasn't a bad movie, penn. >> favorite? favorite? >> oh, hush. >> larry: okay. which way do you think it's going, tanya? >> the only thing i can tell you about this race is meeks is staying in it. he's going to be there at the finish line. breaking news. >> larry: he's staying in. >> he's staying in the race. >> larry: you're telling me that congressman meeks is staying in the race? >> he's in it. >> larry: despite the stories running all afternoon? >> he's in it, larry. that's my prediction. >> i think the story line is wrong about this republican tsunami and a democratic blood bath and they've been pounding it for months and months and months and as you know a lot of these races are tightening all over the country. >> larry: we'll repeat our interview with jon stewart tomorrow night if you missed it. you're going to get a big kick. if you saw, it you'll love seeing it again. time now for anderson cooper and "ac 360." anderson?
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